Gabriel Sánchez Toledo’s Ambivalent Landscape

/ 23 November, 2014

One of the things that satisfies me the most in the present works by Gabriel Sánchez Toledo is that they are not preceded, or accompanied, by any parallel rumor remitting them to a given philosophical, mystical or religious creed, exotic in relation with the western-insular-mestizo world view characterizing us. Gabriel is even concerned with leaving quite clear to those visiting his studio that he has no filiation with those euphuistic poses so fashionable in these days of a certain painting boom.

He wants us to see in his paintings what really exists in them as an aesthetic reality and that the meaning does not come, whether imported or farfetched from extra-artistic outskirts, as a discursive addition ending up revealing a need of a theoretical justification that authentic creation never requires.

The group of works brought together in his most recent exhibition under the title Tierra de nadie (No-Man’s-Land) makes evident that Gabriel is beginning to enter into a creative phase in which he prefers synthesis, pictorial condensation of forms, the prominence of what is plastic over and above what is thematic, which does not imply, at all, a lack of contents or mere formalist delight. On the contrary, this painting is profuse in meaning, but not the sort of evident reference which is recognized in iconic statements or deduced from an explicit narrative. In these pieces, Gabriel shies away from this type of reference. He rather resorts to the prodigality of meaning intrinsic in the signifying capacity that the overflowing materiality of painting has (…).

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